Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Potpourri: Man Up

My consternation with this weekend is in force. That's right I'm bothered. I'm nonplussed, I'm frustrated and absolutely none of that has to do with losing twice to CC. That's right. Let me be extra clear. I'm not bothered that the team lost two games. What am I bothered about? I still irked about the text message that "real uaa" sent me. It isn't because someone called me a shitbag. I could care less about that. I've absorbed "better" insults from "lesser" people many many times on the Internet. I believe I've characterized myself more negatively at times than that. So why does it bother me?

Plain and simple reason is the source. I can't for a minute begin to believe that anyone other than someone who feels they are "real uaa" would bother to identify themselves as such. The text messaging widget is completely and entirely anonymous. I have no idea "where" any messages I get come from. I use page hit counter software that identifies commenters by location and IP address and even tells me what OS and browser the commenter used. The text messaging widget allows me no such thing. With that bit of info aside then, if someone takes the time to give themselves an "alias" it is because they want me to know something about them. So I can only assign a couple of different possibilities to the moniker "real uaa".

The first feeling is that they are expressing more validity as a UAA fan than me. Saying "real" is a way of elevating themselves above me in terms of fandom. It means I'm less than "real". The second attribution that I'm able to deduce is that it is from someone associated with the program. It is difficult to know exactly which part of Friday night's post bothered anyone so much that they'd send the "shitbag" message. Perhaps it was the title? Of course I've analyzed my own analysis and I stand by what I said about the game. The first four paragraphs are my accounting of what I saw; no different really than any other analysis of the team's play that I've offered here in the past. So it was either the title or my conclusion where I put the blame for the loss on the coaching staff. If it was the title of the post then whoever sent it is a pretty shallow person that they'd send such a message based on that. The title was "facetious". I was being realistic and at the same time trying to make light of the situation. If there is any doubt ... I don't think the wheels are coming off the bus because like I said ... the wheels haven't exactly "gone round and round" yet. One cannot look at the record and dispute that. Is it a slam from me to the program? Nope. If you think it is then you're just straight up wrong. So then in my mind the reason for the "shitbag" message is me calling out the coaching staff.

Well let's see what the reality is there eh? In two years, I've made negative comments about the coaching staff a grand total of three times. Search yourself. If you can find me dissing our staff more than 3 times then more power to you. I say you can't. And you'll find even less negative comments from me regarding any active player. So I put the blame for the loss on the coaching staff. Big whoop. They've got broad shoulders, they're professionals and as such better be prepared for the occassional criticism. It wasn't harsh anyway.

So that lead me to offer up this blog to any "real uaa" fan out there that is willing to do somewhat the same sort of job as I've done with this blog. And I mean it. I've gone to the overwhelming majority of Seawolf games since 1984. Definitely more than 90 percent. And you know what; I never let the teams record dictate my hopes for a victory or my core satisfaction with watching the team compete. Never. And I know there are plenty of other UAA fans who could offer up similar testimony. So whatever one of you that is equally enamored by this program but feels that I'm a "shitbag" should definitely MAN UP and send me an email offering to run this joint. I might actually enjoy the games more if I didn't have to analyze wins and losses for the benefit of those that didn't see the game or who simply enjoy reading others opinions about the result. So do it "real uaa", step up. Show us how much of the "real uaa" moniker you deserve.

I'll turn over this blog to the first person that truly wants to take it on. There is a built in readership of several hundred regular folks that are waiting for a "real uaa" fan to write here. My email box is waiting. Perhaps you've wanted to start your own UAA Hockey blog but decided against it because this one is already here? You no longer have to hesitate to share your views. You can jump into the drivers seat here. You don't even have to identify your personage. I didn't put my real name on the blog until the beginning of this season. I can't think of any reason you might have to keep you from doing it other than you just aren't willing to back up your disrespect to me. Perhaps you're just not man enough? I hope I'm wrong. I hope you are man enough and I'll wish you every success if you choose to do it. And passively watching from my seat and reading what others have to say is completely acceptable to me. Maybe you are someone associated in some way with the program; cool beans, you'd probably be able to share more pertinent info that I'm able to. Jump on if that's the case. As I said, you don't have to share your identity.

To be clear, I'm not making the offer because I feel the team is not worthy. They are. We've got as good a group of guys wearing the green and gold as we have ever had. I honestly believe this team is as talented as ANY that have ever worn the sweater and that isn't the first time I've said that. That said, there is plenty of hockey yet to play. Home ice for the WCHA playoffs is still a very attainable goal. I believe the team can achieve it.

One thing outside the UAA program that I'd like to comment on is Bruce McLeod's decision to (for the second time this season) apologize for a blown call by one of his officials. Ok, so it was the same official (Randy Schmidt) blowing another goal replay review call. By making this apology Bruce is once again turning his refereeing staff into empty shirts. Officiating is and always will be an integral part of the game. Sometimes they screw up. No doubt about it. Sometimes those screw ups cost a team dearly. Yep. Offering up apologies though is total joke. In the first apology to SCSU it seems that Bruce was in the NHC, was he in attendance at Magness on Friday night? Is Bruce influenced by his proximity? The team that feels they were screwed aren't helped by an apology; so unless you're willing to compensate by replaying whole or parts of games then it's worthless to apologize. Replaying whole or parts of games is such an absolutely ridiculous idea on pretty much every level that I'm just going to define it as ridiculous and move on. The real problem I have here is that Bruce seriously usurped the authority his officials have. Now that he has apologized twice where does it end? It is a BAD BAD BAD precendent. If WCHA Head of Officials Greg Shepherd doesn't resign in protest then he lacks credibility. He shouldn't resign because his officials blew a call. That doesn't matter. It happens. Fans have to deal with it. It sucks when it happens to you. I know it does. But we're going to have officials as long as we have the sport and like it or not they affect EVERY game with their calls and non-calls. That is the way it is. Bruce McLeod could have offered up private apologies, he'd done so more than once in the past. Making it public is a HUGE slap in the face to Greg Shepherd and all the zebras in skates. MAN UP Greg and step down. Or are you just Bruce's bag man?


Annabelle said...

I remain hopeful for the team. I believe that if we get the lines and pairings back that we had in late November we will get the chemistry back. I do get disappointed when we lose, but I also enjoy the games and believe in supporting their hard work. So having said that, let's win some games!!!!

Donald Dunlop said...

I think the majority of us feel the same way Annabelle. Thank you for summing it up nicely. It's always good to see people expressing positive thoughts here and on USCHO. You're a good fan for doing so.

As I said in my post. This squad has a lot of talent. If they don't "satisfy" everybody this year they'll do it next year and the year after. The team is young and will only get better and better over the next few years. Shyiak is just now getting all the players he's wanted into his system. These are the guys that want to play for him and will (as they have already been doing) bust their asses for him and for the program.

And as fans when we see the success that we so dearly crave it will be all the sweeter because of all the struggles.

Keep reading and partcipating! Thanks.

Suze said...

UAA's last few opponents were tough to beat ... not many teams have won against CC and DU this year.

If the Wolves play this weekend like they did in the home games against CC and DU, they should be rewarded with 4 points.

Now go get em guys!! WE BELIEVE!!

Anonymous said...

Donald - I think you are over analyzing the "shitbag" comment. Don't take it to heart. You're doing a fabulous job with the hockey blog. I seriously doubt it came from someone you offended. It was most likely just a message from some random asshole surfing the internet with nothing better to do than sling insults in a cowardly way. Very possibly "real uaa" indicates that he/she is part of another organization with the moniker UAA (such as United Assholes of America) and was not actually meant to impune your status as a Seawolves fan. Keep your chin up and keep up the great Blog...


Reg Dunlop said...

Actually just started reading the Blog...Pretty sophisticated hockey anaylsis for the most part...Great job...We need wins this weekend Badly...Need the First Goal,Great goaltending and team Defense..Passionate Seawolve fans are tough to find..Keep up the Great Job... You cant be worrying about jackassses...

Donald Dunlop said...

Nice last name there. Keep reading! Thanks.

Donald Dunlop said...

Overanalyzing something wouldn't be anything new for me.

dggoddard said...

I expect that the WCHA will send you an apology for the text message. :-)

Glen Coulson said...

No "Coach Shyiak Show" this week. Sorry, most of the students have not returned from Christmas break for me to put a crew together. Putting a show together without video is never fun so we figured we would punt this week, and start up again next week when we have a full staff. We will be producing the series this weekend on GCI channel 1... please be kind it's an entirely new production crew.


Suze said...

Thanks for the heads up Glen. I was disappointed last weekend when I tuned in all I saw was a gal selling jewelry! ;)

Jeff from Fargo said...

I'm with you Donald Dunlop; Man up Greg Shepherd and step down. Although I'm all for Greg Shepherd stepping down, I hope that he does it for better reasons than in protest of MacCleoud's recent apologies. I hope that he realizes what I joke his officials are, take the blame for it, and step down.

At the very least Randy Schmidt should be suspended. If the only access to replays are from the cameras placed above the goals (and looking directly down) then he should have at least gotten the DU-SCSU snafu right. It's pretty easy to see St Cloud's goalie get taken out, BEFORE the goal was made. I also have to believe that with just the one camera view, he should have gotten last Friday's replay right also. Couldn't he see that goal light (the one that signifies time has expired) go on after the goal was scored? Pretty easy replay to get right.

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